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Published on August 1st, 2011 | by Brandon

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>Battlefield 3 PC Build Guide

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>Yesterday, I put a commentary up on my YouTube channel detailing a few different custom PC builds for those of you who are looking at upgrading or building a new PC in preparation for Battlefield 3 or other upcoming games. You can check out the video below for details on each build and why I chose what I did, or just scroll down to see the builds themselves. Click the PCPartPicker links to see the individual part prices, as well as total build prices.

I encourage discussion about these builds in the comments, but keep it civil. If I see any flaming or personal attacks, I’ll just turn comments off.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Mid-range Build (Click to see on PCPartPicker)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme 4 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
High-end Build (Click to see on PCPartPicker)
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth P67 (REV 3.0) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 580 1.5GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Extreme Build (Click to see on PCPartPicker)
CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master RR-B10-212P-G1 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth P67 (REV 3.0) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Hard Drive: Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB 2.5″ Solid State Disk
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 750GB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 6990 4GB Video Card
Case: Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced ATX Full Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair 1000W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer

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vol1tion

BrandonBrandon

Brandon started his PC gaming days playing Doom II (IDDQD/IDKFA for life) and has been hooked on online gaming since the original Starsiege: Tribes. The way to his heart is through proper grammar, corn dogs, and cookie cake.


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  • t3haxle

    >Come on bro, where are the Tri SLI 580's at?

    Jokes aside, I think it would also be important to tell people they may want to wait until bulldozer until they purchase or upgrade, to see how that pans out.

  • t3haxle

    >NVM just finished watching the video, apologies

  • Atanvay

    >I have pretty mush the mid-range build but with a 990FXA UD3 gigabyte board and a X6 1055T Overclocked to 3.8GHZ

  • WuLF

    >I wouldn't recommend any of the current AMD chip offerings. Bulldozer is nigh, and if you are going to recommend AMD, I would wait for them to release it in mid-September.

    Until then, the current gen Sandy Bridge i3 knocks the snot out of AMD's aging architecture.

    Let's look at the documentation: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/102?vs=289

    We still don't know exactly how fast or slow Bulldozer will be yet. Sure, it should be around Sandy Bridge, but no one knows yet. Personally, I would like to see that BD is competitive with Intel's offerings. It will make the CPU market more interesting and competitive again.

  • vol1tion

    >@WuLF:

    As I mention in the video, the budget build has an AM3+ motherboard specifically for the upgrade path to Bulldozer.

  • Duffy

    >Nice. Any reason why you picked the 560 ti over a 6950, or are they both much of a muchness? Wondering which to get for mine.

  • abag0fchips

    >Do you guys take topic suggestions for the Podcast?

    If so, I have a suggestion. How would a beginner get into overclocking?

  • WuLF

    >I know the 990x is an AM3+ board. For about the same price I'll find you an equivalent P67/Z68 mobo. When I get home I'll find links. Intel architecture is much faster than AMDs.

  • xy

    >The Asus Sabertooth isn't a very good motherboard, you're paying 200 bucks for an average motherboard with "thermal armor" that actually raises your temps in certain situations. And the Hyper 212+ isn't the best cpu cooler by a long shot; its good for the money, but if you want an awesome cpu cooler for an "extreme" build I would recommend either the Coolermaster V8 or V6 GT, or the Noctua NH-D14 for the absolute best, which outclasses even the Corsair H70.

  • vol1tion

    >@Duffy:

    You can't really go wrong with either card. I didn't exclude one and pick the other for any particular reason.

    @abag0fchips:

    We'll call for podcast questions over Twitter. Just look out for our Q&A call and tweet your question at us!

    @xy:

    The Hyper 212+ is the best price/performance of any air cooler I've seen. I agree that there are better performers, but I don't think it's worth paying double or triple the price to get 1-2 more degrees out of your cooler (even for the extreme build). That's just my opinion, of course. :)

  • WuLF

    >Agreed w/ xy. Noctua NH-D14 is the best air cooler on the market right now.

  • WuLF

    >Motherboard from earlier

    Gigabyte Z68 board($128.99) – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128502

    You can also be patient and find great deals on open box mobos from Newegg.com as well to save even more money. Open Box units are tested by Newegg and are very safe to purchase.

    Also, for the extreme build I would recommend the fully modular version of the 1000w PSU. Seasonic made and 80+ Gold Certified. – http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139014

    For Case I'd recommend a Corsair Obsidian 800D. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139001
    Or something high-end from Silverstone.

    If you're going extreme, you're going all out.
    Also, a pair of GTX 580's will run cooler and faster than a Dual GPU card. May cost more, but why do you think Maximum PC opted for 3 580's and not 2 590s?

  • WuLF

    >Also, the OCZ Vertex 3 is the best available SSD for your 'Extreme' build.

    It's a non-contest: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/381?vs=350

  • Bizznichw

    >Im gonna stick with my i5 2600k and dual 6950's run by my coolermaster 650w psu :)

  • essinDEES

    >I love that wulf was asking PC questions a few months ago and now he blabs like he knows all. You may squeeze 2-3 degrees out of a noctua over a 212. If you know how to apply paste, probably not. I'll venture to say that I had better temps with my 212 than most people running noctua and/or watercooling soley because I am not an idiot and I know how to apply paste correctly.

    The Sabertooth is a great board. One of the highest rated in it's class. I had one, it was a bad egg, so I went gigabyte. I have the lowest gigabyte p67 motherboard out there, and I love it to death. It overclocks well and the bios boots quickly.

    You see extreme, and you automatically want to go with the best, most expensive parts. Price->performance always come into play, regardless of "extreme" or not.

    Stop talking out of your ass and using web based articles to base your assumptions on, rather than actually having tried and used some of the high end components mentioned.

    lol 5770.

    OCZ is garbage. I've had 2 OCZ SSDs. Both went bad within the year. How did the RMA go, you ask? Poorly. They are shit. Want a reliable SSD with the latest tech? Crucial and/or Intel.

    You recommended a Seasonic PSU. That's all I need to say to you.

    You're talking PC hardware as a nooby to the scene and trying to tell people who have been surrounded by it for 10+ years what's going on in the industry. Experience > what you read online. Every. Single. Component. is different, regardless of being the same make/model. You'd know this had you owned more than one high end machine in your life.

    PC Master Race this, champ.

  • essinDEES

    >You also referred to the 990x as an AM3 board? What the fuck are you talking about I don't even? Please shut up. Oh God.

    Going extreme isn't going all out. Going all out is going all out. Extreme = high end machine. Retarded = best of the best and newest technology. Again, had you ever used the newest tech on the market, you would understand.

    Alas, you've never owned an extreme PC in your life and you're just blabbing about web based benchmarks. Weeeeeeeeee victory.

  • essinDEES

    >Last, and certainly not least – stop bashing AMD like you know anything. AMD is a far better buy for anybody that isn't an extremist. The 2600k is complete overkill for gaming. The x4 965 is a far superior purchase to any intel CPU on the market right now. The thing is a fucking monster.

    I could go all fucking day. I am very angry.

  • Peeble

    >Owned.

  • WuLF

    >Well I apologize, I did not mean to cause such a scene. I was just trying to share my opinion and back it up w/ what I have been reading. I shall leave it to the people with more experience/knowledge than myself. That is that.

  • santorum

    >You forfeited that very graciously, and it is wise of you not to attempt to compete with John. He will rape you… Then he will tell you why he's right.

  • Mike

    >I both agree and disagree with these comments.

    COME AT ME.

  • SilK

    >Hey guys I just wanted to ask one thing. I have a pretty old motherboard, the M7ATT, it was pretty decent back in 2009, and I was wondering since I'm not really an expert on theses things, will it be able to support the FX-6100 Bulldozer processor? Because if not I'm fucked.

  • vol1tion

    >@SilK:

    Sorry, I'm not familiar with that motherboard. If the board is AM3, it may be compatible with Bulldozer with a BIOS update.

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